Global Marketing

Alibaba’s Footprint

This e-commerce giant is one of the top 10 most valuable companies in the world. Alibaba was founded by Jack Ma in 2001 in Hangzhou, China. 

The Initial Public Offering Frenzy for Chinese Internet Trading Company ' Alibaba': Symptom of a Diseased Economic Order - Global Research

The company’s six core values are rooted in Chinese culture and embody ideals that have been guiding themes throughout the country’s long history. The 6 values are as follows:

  1. Customer first
  2. Teamwork
  3. Embrace change
  4. Integrity 
  5. Passion
  6. Commitment

Jack Ma and his team even dubbed these values their ‘Six Vein Spirit Sword,’ a term taken from a Chinese kung-fu novel with heavy influences from Buddhist philosophy. 

Alibaba is a multinational company which operates globally and exports to more than 240 countries.

Despite strong Chinese cultural undertones, the company has achieved success due to its ability to adapt to other cultures. It then incorporates those outside influences into the company culture.

Andrew Teoh, a former company executive explains, “Alibaba is not like a Chinese company, it’s a blend of the good parts of East and West.”

Savio Kwan, formerly a General Electric executive, is credited with implementing a Western-style rewards system at Alibaba that was very foreign to Chinese workers at first. 

Half of the employee annual review was to be determined by performance, while the other half depended on how well they embodied Alibaba’s six core values.

The blended management approach encouraged innovation in the company and allowed Alibaba to excel around the world.